Israel to increase military, civilian aid to Ukraine as tensions with Russia rise



republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

Something to keep an eye on: tensions have started to rise between Russia and Israel. Israel is expanding its aid to Ukraine, “including military assistance,” but “not offensive weapons.” In recent weeks, Zelensky has also turned to Israel’s “strategic advisors close to former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Leaders in Jerusalem have also “lambasted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for claiming Hitler had Jewish origins.”

A main concern that drove Israel’s caution at the outset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the first place was the Russian-controlled airspace over Syria. Israel and Russia have been cooperating to control Iran’s presence there. Netanyahu advised the Israeli government in February to be quiet about Russia and focus on Iran.

“Israel to increase military, civilian aid to Ukraine – report,” by Anna Ahronheim, Jerusalem Post, May 3, 2022:

Israel is leaning toward expanding its aid to Ukraine, including sending military assistance to the embattled country.

Israeli officials have said Jerusalem can send “plenty of items” to Kyiv that are more defensive, but air-defense systems, advanced weaponry and attack systems would not be sent, Haaretz reported.

The increase in aid would be a “substantial step” compared with what Israel has already provided, the report said, adding that it would be more symbolic and “not include substantial quantities of supplies” because of the aid already provided by the US and European countries.

Jerusalem has been trying to strike a balance between Russia and Ukraine, but Haaretz quoted a source as saying the US and some European countries expect Israel to take a clearer stance regarding which side it is on “and to back its decision with deeds and not just statements.”

A meeting by defense officials is planned for the coming days to discuss what platforms or supplies can be provided to Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry did not comment on the report.

Last week, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Dror Shalom, head of the Defense Ministry’s Political Security Division, took part in a US-led summit that discussed international defense aid to Ukraine.

Israel was among 43 countries – 29 NATO members and 14 non-NATO members – that attended the summit in Germany. Shalom’s participation could be viewed as a possible shift in stance by Israel, which has been attempting to preserve its close ties with Moscow….